We all have them. Many of us even know what they are. But how did we acquire these rights?
Judging by the number of times I read and hear people referring to our “Constitutional” rights, darned few people with a public platform know the answer.
I’ve been correcting people for as long as I can remember. John Silveira wrote about it over a dozen years ago. (Read We don’t need no steenking 2nd Amendment, Issue #58, Jul/Aug, 1999). And now, finally, someone with a major media outlet has written about it.
The correct answer to how we get our rights is, of course, by being born. Some would say our rights are secured at the moment of conception and I wouldn’t argue the point — the point being, our rights are given to us by God or by Nature, depending upon whether you believe in the former or not.
This simple, most inconvenient of truths for those in government, was well-known to the Founders, who made it crystal clear in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…
My guess is that, if you are reading this blog post, you already knew that. But I’d also guess that most of the people you know don’t know, that they believe our rights are granted by our Constitution. So let me get to the point of today’s blog post.
I think it is incumbent upon those of us who do understand the truth of the matter to gently remind others, especially those in the media, whenever we read or hear them refer to “Constitutional rights.” We need to remind them that rights granted by a Constitution can be taken away by changing the Constitution as opposed to our rights, which can never be taken from us, only suppressed and denied by the power of government guns.
Whenever you encounter someone in media referring to “Constitutional rights,” please, take a few minutes to send them an email or a letter asking that they alter their language in the future to help educate folks about the true nature and source of our rights. Take your friends and relatives aside when you hear then make the mistake and spend a minute respectfully reminding them. And by all means, talk to your children about rights and where they come from.
Will it make a difference in the long run? I hope so, but only time will tell. But I can say for sure that if we continue to allow ignorance to prevail, the point will become moot by the time soon-to-be-born grandson begins voting.
What do you think?